Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine’s stat line at halftime was far from impressive.
In 11 first-half minutes, Jardine registered two points, two assists and a steal. He played a minor role in SU’s 23-0 run that allowed them to take a 47-33 lead into halftime.
But in the second half, when North Carolina State rallied, Jardine came alive. The senior hit all six of his shots to finish with 16 points, helping the Orange to handily win its first true road game of the season, 88-72.
“This was a tough road game,” Jardine said to reporters following the game. “But we got it.”
Though the Orange had a 14 point lead coming out of half, the Wolfpack quickly erased it with a 13-1 run. They would tie the game shortly after at 50-50 with 15:33 left.
“We knew they were going to come out and make a run,” Jardine said. “Basketball is a game of runs.”
It is also a game of adjustments.
For much of the game, Jardine was content to find his teammates, which led the Wolfpack to sag off Jardine on high screen-and-rolls. Seeing that trend, Syracuse assistant coaches Gerry McNamara and Mike Hopkins told Jardine to adjust his philosophy.
“(They) told me come off the pick and roll looking to score,” Jaridne said. “I always have to take what the defense gives me.”
That’s exactly what happened with 7:32 left when Jardine found himself open off a high screen. Jardine drained the 3-pointer, part of a key 11-2 run.
Fittingly, it was a Jardine 3-pointer that capped the run and put SU up 74-63 with 6:47 left. NC State would get no closer than eight points after that.
“He made a couple big threes,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He played great, just like he did in the second half against Florida.”
In that game, Jardine scored nine straight points in the second half to lead SU past the then-No. 9 Gators on Dec. 2.
Surely, there are more of these types of performances to come.
“I came out aggressive, and they gave me some open shots,” Jardine said. “In the second half, I was able to score.”